Mandolin in White Wood, Grain Count

J. Camp Brown Click to read more...

JCampBrown_PhotoJ. Camp Brown plays mandolin around Poughkeepsie, N.Y.  He received fellowships from Phillips Exeter and from the University of Arkansas, where he took his MFA.  His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Memorious, RHINO, Crazyhorse, Spillway, Black Warrior Review and Tar River Review.

       The Lord’s made of this spruce
           an example:—been blighted, been burnt,
but like the bush his huff stoked,

       not, not yet, been burnt up.
           By what little pitter-patter he seen fit,
from scratch heap, through scrub,

       been brought up:—though withered
           by glare, though ice-thinned, still, up
to the canopy. Been hacked down,

       ricked on a trailer, and hauled
           to the mill. No map of plenty are these
annular rings, but no grain count

is higher. Been cut, and there is no more
           keener cut of mandolin.

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